FRANCE - Paris-based asset managers Tobam and Amundi have entered into a strategic partnership that will see Amundi take a 17.5% minority equity stake in its French counterpart.

Under the agreement, Amundi will acquire the minority interest in Tobam from the company's employees and CalPERS, which bought a 17.5% stake in Tobam's parent company in May last year.

According to Yves Perrier, managing director at Amundi - which currently manages €92bn of assets - the agreement forms part of its company's policy of offering its clients the "best expertise".

Tobam - which currently manages $2.4bn of assets - cited access to Amundi's institutional clients base in Europe, Asia and the Middle East as a key benefit of the deal, and said it aimed to grow its business in those regions.

Yves Choueifaty, president at Tobam, told IPE: "Even though we are based in France, 95% of our assets under management comes from outside the country - mainly from the Netherlands, Northern Europe, Switzerland, the US and Canada.

"At the moment, our coverage also comprises only one very large institutional client in the Middle East, while our exposure has not yet reached the Asian market.

"The newly signed partnership with Amundi will enable us to gain access to its distribution capabilities in those regions and globally."

Choueifaty added that Tobam had already started to adapt its anti-benchmark strategy to clients based in the Middle East and Asia, but only in terms of implementation.

"The anti-benchmark strategy is unique in itself," Choueifaty added. "However, there are two kinds of adaptation you can bring to amend the strategy implementation.

"The first one relates to investors' needs. That's why we have launched most diversified portfolios in Europe, in the US, in Japan and emerging markets over the last few years. We will now seek to launch other diversified portfolios in other geographies.

"The second adaptation you can bring to your implementation strategy consists of taking into account investors' tax specificities, whether it is on dividends, on capital gain, etc."

With the access to this new client base, Choueifaty now hopes to double Tobam's AUM over the next two years, from the current $2.4bn to $4.8bn.